10 Sites to Watch TV Shows Online for Free, Streaming Full Episodes

Watch full episodes and complete series with free streaming TV

Watching TV Show on Laptop
Photo © Daviles / Getty Images

These days, you don’t need a television set or cable package to enjoy full episodes of your favorite TV shows whenever you want. There are plenty of websites out there that let you stream free TV shows online — many of which include some of today's most popular programs.

It's easy enough to connect your device to a TV for a night of comfy couch-surfing. The trick is finding the best sites, which isn't always so easy to do.

Some sites will scam you into signing up for unrelated fees while others require you to complete a survey before you can watch anything. And if you're not careful, some sites that come with sketchy downloads can even infect your computer with viruses. (Although this is true for many sites, Netflix now offers a fairly safe option for downloading TV shows and movies for offline viewing)

If you're going to use an unofficial site to watch free TV, you'd best do your research to find out from other users whether it's safe to do so first. Steer clear of any troublesome sites and check out the following high-quality, trusted streaming TV sites instead. We also keep an updated list of free movie streaming sites too!

Did you know you can watch streaming television on any device that can uses data plans? iPhones, as well as Android phones from makers like Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. are all capable of streaming both movies and television shows.

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Sony Crackle: Watch Hit TV Shows and Crackle Originals

A screenshot of Sony Crackle.

What We Like

  • Great availability on many different platforms with official apps for iOS and Android plus devices like Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire and some smart televisions.

  • Easy-to-navigate interface.

  • Access to hit movies in addition to TV shows.

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in the U.S. and Australia for free.

  • Not much content unique to the service.

  • Very loud commercials.

With Crackle, you can watch full episodes of your favorite TV shows (in addition to movies) and create personal watch lists so you can keep track of everything you're watching.

Since it's a totally free service with accessibility across multiple major platforms (including mobile with the free Crackle app), there are some commercials rolled into the programming. Regardless, Crackle is a great alternative that you can enjoy viewing on your computer or with one of its apps on your mobile device.

All you need to do is create a free account to start watching. Just select the Shows tab in the top menu or search for a show title, then choose the episode you want and enjoy.

You can also use filter options to browse through shows based on genre, alphabetical order, recently added, full episodes, clips, trailers and what's coming soon.

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Tubi: 100% Legal and Unlimited TV Show Streaming

Screenshot of TubiTV.com

What We Like

  • Access to thousands of hit TV series (as well as movies) from well-known studios like Paramount, MGM, Lionsgate and more.

  • Multi-platform availability with apps for iOS, Android, Roku and Amazon Fire.

  • New content added every week.

What We Don't Like

  • Tracks your viewing history.

  • Targeted advertising platform.

  • No clear way to filter TV shows from movies except from select TV-labeled categories.

Tubi is another incredible alternative to the online TV world that operates legally through license agreements. And just like Crackle, it also includes movies.

Tubi is totally free with a user account, which you can use to set up your watch queue and even pick up where you left off from watching something previously. The platform also tracks your viewing history so that it can learn about your preferences to make better suggestions for you.

Browse through all your standard categories like Action, Drama, Comedy and others or take a look at some of the interesting categories like Cult Classics and Highly Rated on Rotten Tomatoes. With over 50,000 shows and movies available and more being added all the time, Tubi TV is quickly growing to become a TV favorite for internet users everywhere.

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Popcornflix: Simple, Easy Access to TV Classics

Screenshot of Popcornflix.com

What We Like

  • Eclectic collection of content, including stuff hard to find elsewhere.

  • Ability to watch shows instantly without having to create an account.

  • Wide range of supported devices including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Xbox and Amazon Fire.

What We Don't Like

  • Much of the content is either old or hyper-niche.

  • Annoying ad model.

While Popcornflix is mainly known for its great range of full-length movies, documentaries, foreign films and original web series, it's also a great place to check out for unique TV shows that are hard to find anywhere else — including cable TV. If you're a millennial looking for some serious childhood nostalgia, you'll want to check out Popcornflix's 90's TV offering featuring classics like The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Adventures of Super Mario 3 Bros. and more.

Its TV show offering isn't exactly huge, but it might be worth checking out if you're looking for something different. Preroll ads will also play when you start watching, but you can start watching anything without having to sign up for a free account if you're just looking to try it out quick.

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Vudu: Watch a Range of Popular Network Shows

A screenshot of Vudu.com.

What We Like

  • Very large selection of shows from 65 popular networks.

  • Ability to filter free content from paid.

  • Ability to download content to watch offline.

  • Support for devices including iOS, Android, Microsoft PX and Xbox.

What We Don't Like

  • Required to create an account in order to watch.

  • Multiple ads are shown (as many as 6 to 8 depending on length) for some free content.

Vudu is Walmart's pay-per-use TV show and movie streaming service, with a number of shows and movies available to watch for free. The free ones have ads, but for a platform that offers high-quality, relatively popular shows from networks like CBS, Fox, HBO and more, those ads are definitely tolerable.

You can filter TV shows by genre or select the checkbox for Free TV only, which filters out all the paid content so all you see is what's available to watch for free. As a nice bonus, you can also browse by Most Watched, Release Date and Recently Added to find hidden gems you might not be able to find otherwise.

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Snagfilms: Check Out Thousands of Indie Shows and Films

A screenshot of Snagfilms.com.

What We Like

  • Relatively short preroll ads.

  • Ability to start watching immediately even without setting up an account.

  • Access to hard-to-find indie content.

  • Support for iOS and Android with dedicated apps.

What We Don't Like

  • Smaller selection of shows with greater emphasis on movies and documentaries.

  • Includes a lot of low-budget, low-resolution content.

  • No way to browse by category.

Snagflims has over 5,000 TV show episodes, movies, documentaries and comedy shorts for you to watch. If you're looking for something a little bit more unique in terms of independent shows and films, this could be a great platform for you to check out.

The interface both on the web and mobile apps is simple and intuitive, but don't expect the best picture or sound quality. You only have to watch a quick preroll ad before each show to enjoy watching it for free.

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Pluto TV: Watch Some of Your Favorite TV Channels

A screenshot of Pluto.tv.

What We Like

  • Good mix of channels, including live and previously aired.

  • A nice solution to traditional cable TV — particularly for those who like channel surfing.

  • Desktop apps available for Windows/Mac as well as mobile apps for iOS/Android.

What We Don't Like

  • Ads that appear at awkward times within content.

  • Limited availability of good shows.

  • Website isn't secured with an SSL certificate.

Pluto TV is a live-streaming TV platform that's basically an extension of Vizio's WatchFree service. You can channel surf over 100 free channels in genres like news, entertainment, sports, comedy and more.

Some of the content is live and some of it isn't. It's a bit like RabbitTV Plus, except you don't have to pay an annual fee to watch.

It's a lot like traditional cable, where you can simply check out what's currently on without a goal in mind for what to watch. Although you won't be able to catch hit network shows like Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory or Game of Thrones, you'll be able to tune into many major networks' news broadcasts and find familiar episodes of other relatively popular shows.

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ShareTV: Find Exactly Where to Stream a Show for Free

Screenshot of ShareTV.com

What We Like

  • Emphasis is on the fan community.

  • Social discoverability and trend reporting.

  • Access to TV schedule and ability to create your own.

What We Don't Like

  • Hit-or-miss selection and not necessarily free availability.

  • The need to click off the site to go to a third-party site, which could require signing up or have viewer location restrictions in place.

  • Busy user interface with invasive ads on episode pages.

ShareTV is a search engine-like hub for TV shows (as well as movies). Described as a community-based website for fans of network television, the site claims to have every show you could possibly think of — complete with countdowns to the next new episode.

Browse through genres or check out What's New Tonight and Trending Shows. Simply select a show episode and use the checkbox options for Free, Purchase, Subscription or TV Everywhere to find what you're looking for.

Selecting an episode will expand a summary and list of sources where you can watch it. Look for the tv_everywhere label, meaning it's free to watch.

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Yidio: A Simple Site That Searches the Web for Shows on Your Behalf

Screenshot of Yidio.com

What We Like

  • Excellent user interface.

  • Acts more like a search engine, or discovery tool, than destination portal.

  • Covers the basic pay services.

What We Don't Like

  • Points you to services you may have already paid for.

  • Not optimized for actually delivering movies and TV.

Similar to ShareTV, Yidio is a TV show source aggregator that points you in the direction of other third-party hosts where you should be able to watch a particular episode.

You can use the right sidebar to browse by genre and the menu at the top to filter available shows by what's available on several premium streaming services. Of course, if you're looking for something to watch for free, you'll want to select the Free filter.

When you select a show, you'll be shown a summary based on IMDb info along with several thumbnails of episodes that are available. Select any thumbnail to be taken to the specific episode listing.

The downside to using Yidio is that its free listings aren't the most accurate or update to date, and you may come across a show that only has short clips rather than full episodes available to watch for free despite its listing in the Free category. There are lots of ads to Amazon, Google Play and iTunes in the way, but if the episode is indeed free, links to free sources (such as YouTube) will be available at the very bottom for you to click on.

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YouTube: Where Some of the Best Shows Might Be Hiding

Screenshot of YouTube.com

What We Like

  • Most people are already familiar with YouTube's interface and search tools.

  • Lots of related content, like fan cuts or highlight reels from movies and TV shows.

What We Don't Like

  • Strictly, most of the uploaded videos aren't licensed, making it likely that some infringement is going on.

  • YouTube is not intended to deliver movies or TV shows; it's optimized for user uploads.

Lots of people don’t realize that YouTube is actually a great place to look for television shows. While you won't exactly get access to the most current or popular shows (unless you pay), nor a guaranteed high-quality viewing experience, you might still be pleasantly surprised by what's available on the web’s largest video sharing network.

Just search for a show title and see what comes up. For example, if you search Boy Meets World — an old ABC family sitcom from the 90s — several uploaded episodes from virtually every season will come up. On the other hand, if you search for Grey's Anatomy — a more current and popular television drama — you'll notice results will come up where you'll have to pay a fee to stream it legally on YouTube.

Some people get away with uploading popular TV show episodes for a certain time before they're eventually reported or caught by YouTube. Depending on the timing and the show you're looking for, you might be able to find something that actually shouldn't be there due to copyright restrictions.

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TVPlayer: Catch Up on the Latest British Shows (UK Only)

A screenshot of TVPlayer.com.

What We Like

  • Good selection of channels, with a focus on British television.

  • Sleek, easy-to-use design.

What We Don't Like

  • Free tier is basically an inducement to pay for a subscription package.

  • Ad presence seems a bit heavier than other options.

  • Extremely limited free account.

Are you in the UK? If you are, then you'll want to know about TVPlayer — a free TV streaming service that offers 95 channels for free on both the desktop and mobile devices, including shows that are currently airing live. 30 premium channels are available to users who upgrade to a Plus account for a monthly fee. (Sorry, U.S. readers; this site is just for readers across the pond.)

Free channels include popular ones like BBC 1, Discovery, ITV, Dave, Five, History, Lifetime and many more. All you have to do to sign up is create an account with your email address, verify your account creation and start watching!

Obviously, the big downside with this one is that it's restricted to users in the UK. If you're located somewhere else, like in the US, you can still create an account and sign in, but if you try to watch something, TVPlayer will first check to make sure you're in the UK and will block access if you're not.

Given that so many people have discovered the many advantages of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), it's possible that you could get around TVPlayer's geographical restrictions if you tried. Having said that, more streaming services are seriously cracking down on the VPN trend (like Netflix for example, so don't be surprised if TVPlayer doesn't work with your VPN either! See our Best VPN Service Providers list if you're interesting in trying out that route.

Don't Forget Your Favorite Network's Website!

If you have a TV show you love and you want to watch it for free because you missed it or maybe you don't get that channel, a great way to catch up on it is to visit the network's website and see if it's available for streaming.

All of the networks below show some full episodes but also clips as well.

Here are some of the popular TV networks out there that provide options for streaming their TV shows:

  • NBC: NBC does a great job of quickly posting and keeping their TV shows around so you have plenty of time to watch them. It's even possible for you to catch up on an entire series right from their website.
  • USA: Part of NBC, the USA Network brings you access to all of your favorite USA shows, including full episodes the day after they've aired.
  • ABC: They have full-length videos of the latest episode of every show as well as video clips, highlights, and sneak peeks into all your favorite ABC shows.
  • CBS: At CBS you can watch shows for free after they've aired on CBS. There are quite a few advertiser interruptions during the streaming video, but you'll know when they're coming because they are clearly marked on the screen.
  • DisneyNOW: You can watch Disney channel movies at DisneyNOW. There's a page that lists all the shows you can watch, plus some fun category pages.
  • FOX: FOX posts free TV shows for you to watch one day after they've aired on TV but they remain locked so that you can watch them until eight days after they've aired.
  • The CW: The day after the CW television shows air you'll be able to watch them for free at their website.
  • PBS: PBS has a ton of free TV episodes online including Masterpiece Theater, PBS NewsHour, and Frontline.
  • MTV: MTV has full episodes of all your favorite MTV shows, including clips and after shows.
  • Freeform (ABC Family): The day after the TV shows on Freeform air, they are put online so that you can enjoy them.
  • A&E: Watch full episodes of shows like Bates Motel, Storage Wars, and Dog the Bounty Hunter.